AUGUSTA — The Maine Marine Patrol conducted its annual Operation Dry Water patrols over the Fourth of July weekend, checking for violations of boating under the influence laws and sharing safety information.
As of June 26, fatal boating accidents in the Northeast have doubled compared to this time last year, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Nationwide, fatal boating accidents have increased more than 19 percent when compared to the same time frame in 2019.
Operating a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher is against the law in Maine. BUI laws pertain to all vessels, from rowboats and kayaks to the largest ships.
In Maine, all children 10 and under must wear a life jacket. Adults don’t have to wear them, but they must be available on board for every occupant.
“Marine Patrol officers will also be sharing the safety message with paddlers. Maines ocean temperatures, even in the height of the summer, can be extremely cold, and the weather can change very quickly,” said Major Beal. “We strongly encourage paddlers to dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. We also urge paddlers to check with organizations like the Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guide Instructors for information on safe paddling.”